William Dukes
Glengarry Light Infantry

William Dukes was born c 1778 in Hindon, Wiltshire, England. At the age of 15 he volunteered for the Wiltshire Militia where he spent nine years. He was discharged at the rank of private and served as a private in the 59th Regiment of Foot for six months. After this he signed up for the 41st Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion.

He took part in numerous actions in the Niagara campaign from the day that war broke out in 1812. He was injured in the private parts in one of these and as a consequence had no children or married. He was injured in Proctor’s retreat in 1813 and took a blow to the head from a sabre as well as being taken prisoner.

He was discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1814 and re-enlisted with the Glengarry Light Infantry as a Sergeant. He was discharged on 6 June 1816 when this regiment was disbanded and immediately joined the lake service bringing supplies to Drummond Island from Penetanguishene and Nottawasaga River.

In 1833, he was working on widening the Sunnidale Road and told a young Reverend Thomas Williams about the burning of the Nancy and the capture of the Tigress and Scorpion which he must have heard about from other sailors. He took part in the 1837 Rebellion with the government forces.

In 1838 he applied for a land grant and received 200 acres along the Penetanguishene Road. He was already 60 and not able to clear his land to farm as he was alone and in poor health.

In 1842 Fort Adjutant Keating wrote a letter to the Military Secretary in Montreal pleading for a pension for Dukes who was by this time 66 and in a very impoverished state. He received that pension as he appears on the Chelsea Hospital list of Pensioners and passed away on 24 April 1848 in Penetanguishene and the garrison laid him to rest in St. James-on-the-Lines Anglican church.

Commanding Officers: Colonel Bullock, Colonel FitzGibbon

Veteran Summary

William Dukes
Sergeant, Glengarry Light Infantry
Place of Birth
Hindon, ON, CAN
Place of Death
Penetanguishene, ON, CAN
Died on: 24 APR 1848
Reason: Old Age
Location of Grave
St. James On-the-Lines Anglican Cemetery, 215 Church Street
Penetanguishene, ON, CAN
Latitude: 44.78945N Longitude: -79.926924